|19 Aug 2012||Liz & Hilary||Mike|
Word obviously got around that the hares this morning were to be none other than Liz and Hilary, those doyens of trail-laying fresh from their triumph at the Daneway in April, as hundreds of people (well – perhaps ‘hundreds’ is a bit of an exaggeration) turned up at the Inn with the Well, despite the fact that they’d changed the venue from Clyffe Pypard at the last minute. It was good to see runners that haven’t been for a while like Vince and Harriet and Caroline and Olly and all us regulars duly made a fuss of them. And it was hot: so hot that Lady Margaret decided to walk and Annie decided to forgo the hash altogether and sit in the shade instead.
A very hot and glowing Liz and Hilary briefed us on two long and two short trails and told us to watch out for horses and then we were off through the village and out across the fields on the first long with Olly and Vince and Maurice way out in front. I managed to catch up when everybody lost the trail and we ended up in a flourless field where a lady on a quad bike told us we were trespassing. This was a matter of yards from where we had fallen out with some ‘getorfmyland’ bloke the last time we ran from Ogbourne. This lady however was much nicer and we ran back the way we had come until we met Jeremy (who had arrived late) – he’d found the On On that we’d all missed and waited there quietly until we came back. It didn’t take long before Olly and Vince had disappeared over the horizon again and at that point, I am ashamed to say, I lost the trail completely. What happened was – I was with Jeremy, helping him to lift the dogs over stiles and by the time we emerged into open country there was no sign of the front runners – or of any flour.
Brian had kindly dropped back to check that I hadn’t fallen into a ditch and so there we were, three highly trained athletes and experienced hashers (Ed: GOM and 2 ex-GOM’s) – but could we find the trail? The short answer is no – we spent about half an hour checking every possible exit to a field the size of Wales until finally I found a blob of flour 3/8ths of an inch across on the far side of a stile – and we were off at last. The attached diagram shows clearly (and very interestingly I thought) the thorough search patterns we used. I learned later that nobody else had the slightest trouble finding the way through that field – the front runners had just charged on going exactly where they should do without any fuss.
When we were underway again we met Liz who told us where the trail went and we had no trouble after that – up across flower filled meadows, past the old church and up to the Ridgeway chatting to the horse riders who came cantering past on some sort of equestrian marathon. Then we met Maurice and Caroline, looking very hot, who had completed the second long loop and as we were so far behind we decided to join them on the last leg. Lovely run through the hamlet of Hallam, over the main road and steeply up to join the old Swindon to Marlborough railway line for a while and then On Home down into Ogbourne. We’d had adventures in delightful countryside and run in warm sunshine and to make it really satisfying – the back runners and the walkers arrived back at the pub all together in just over the hour – what an excellent hash. Thank you Liz and Hilary.
The après was, as always, relaxed and companionable. We were joined by Val and her very lively grandson and Fiona and Annie and we sat outside under umbrellas and gossiped over cool drinks. Brian thanked our hares (warm applause for Liz and Hilary) and encouraged everyone to come to the seaside hash in Clevedon in two weeks and I awarded the bags to Olly as he told me that he had been racing the horses on the Ridgeway (and chatting up the young ladies riding them) – I just admired his zest for life.
No On Ons this week as they are all now on the website – and unfortunately no photos yet as GOM forgot his camera.